florida weather

Hurricane Irma Strengthened To Category 5

Sep 5, 2017

Updated: 4:35 p.m. 

Hurricane Irma has become the most powerful hurricane on record in the Atlantic Ocean outside the Caribbean or the Gulf of Mexico. 

The storm is a strong Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale, with sustained winds up to 185 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Floridians are old pros when it comes to hurricane preparation, but these last few years of near hurricane drought may have taken the edge off storm preparation.

But Harvey's Texas devastation is a stark reminder about the kind of damage a major hurricane can do.


Irma Now a Category 4 with an Eye on Florida

Sep 5, 2017

Irma strengthened Monday afternoon to a Category 4 storm, and the latest forecast data suggests the Major Hurricane will approach South Florida this weekend. It was too soon to make or deny that call in the past few days, but it’s now time for all Floridians in a hurricane prone area - no matter which coast you live along - to take Irma seriously.

Tropical Storm Irma intensified steadily overnight and is now expected to become a Major Hurricane this weekend over the central Atlantic.

Jeff Huffman, Meteorologist from the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network, indicated that it's not clear yet if the storm will hit Florida. 

"I think it will be at least this weekend before we can get a good handle on Irma's path as it relates to the U.S.," said Huffman.  "The forecast is pretty clear cut over the next five to seven days, but the steering currents that would guide it beyond then are quite complex."

Twenty-five years ago, in those harrowing days and weeks after Hurricane Andrew, people were trying to figure out how to cope with the destruction and trauma that the storm left behind. One of the ways they did that was by recording songs and sending them to TV meteorologist Bryan Norcross.

A new tropical storm is likely to form in the western Atlantic later today, but Meteorologist Jeff Huffman is more concerned with what's behind it.

"Soon-to-be tropical Storm Harvey is forecast to become a hurricane, but track well to the south through the Caribbean. Behind it, the tropical wave referred to as Invest 92, is more likely to move in the general direction of Florida by early next week. Confidence at this time, however, is low on whether it will develop or how strong it might become", said Huffman.

Hurricane season doesn't officially start until June 1, but preparations are already underway. The National Weather Service outlined some new ways it's warning Floridians about possible danger at a briefing Tuesday in Tampa. 

National Weather Service

The state tourism industry calls it “Bragging Season”. To the weather community, the three-month period from December to February is referred to as meteorological winter. This year, however, many Floridians are asking themselves “what winter?”

 

Teresa Frontado / WLRN

Authorities are still assessing damage in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties after two tornadoes touched ground early Monday morning. 

Two crews from the National Weather Service in Miami inspected damage in South Florida -- one in Miami-Dade County in Hialeah and Miami Springs, the second in Palm Beach County near Palm Beach and Juno Springs. 

Watches and warnings were issued Sunday, but some civilians were caught by surprise as the storm crept up on them early Monday morning. 

Peter Haden / WLRN

Brackish water infused with leaves, garbage and fertilizers crept up the legs of people standing in suits and skirts in downtown Fort Lauderdale Monday morning.

Broward county officials - along with academics from Florida Atlantic University and private sector entrepreneurs - willingly gathered on the corner of Las Olas Boulevard and 25th Avenue.

U.S. Congressman Ted Deutch got a close up look at the flooding caused by king tides.

Miami Herald

Florida Governor Rick Scott is expecting the federal government to help out in the wake of Hurricane Hermine.

 

The governor is asking for federal assistance to help cover the cost of this month’s storm.  Scott says the damages have surpassed a federal threshold.

“So we’ll get that filed and hopefully we’ll get that approved quickly so we can make sure we’re helping each of these counties,” Scott says.  “I had the opportunity as you know to visit some of these areas that had this unbelievable storm surge and it really hurt a lot of these families.”

The 10th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season was an odd one: When the National Weather Service announced the formation of Tropical Storm Julia in northeastern Florida on Tuesday night, it marked one of the few known instances of such a storm developing over land rather than open water.

It’s the height of Hurricane Season and a tropical wave is moving through The Bahamas.

It will cause widespread rain and cloudiness in Florida this week, said Florida Public Radio Emergency Network Meteorologist Jeff Huffman.

Rain and cloudiness is expected across the peninsula Tuesday, generally rotating around a weak area of low pressure from east to west. Some of the rain could be locally heavy, especially in the afternoon hours when there may be some enhancement from sea breeze interactions.

Volunteer Florida has a few tips for those interested in volunteering their time or donating money to help Hurricane Hermine victims.

During the time of a disaster the state usually sees a spike in charitable giving. But Florida officials are asking people to be mindful of charity-related scams in the aftermath of Hurricane Hermine.

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services spokeswoman Jenn Meale says there are a few tips people should follow to protect themselves from common charity-related scams.

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